Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and that means it’s time for the results of CareerBuilder’s annual Valentine’s Day survey. Turns out, office romance is at a 10-year low, with just 36 percent of workers reporting dating a co-worker, down from 41 percent last year and 40 percent in 2008.
Thirty-seven percent of men say they have dated a coworker compared to 35 percent of women, while 20 percent of male workers say they have dated someone at work two or more times in their career, compared to just 15 percent of their female colleagues.
Some relationships that start at work have a happy ending: 31 percent of co-workers who dated ended up getting married. On the other hand, almost a quarter of workers (24 percent) had an affair with a colleague where one person involved was married at the time (27 percent of men compared to 21 percent of women). Six percent of workers have left a job because a romantic relationship with someone at work went sour (9 percent of women compared to 3 percent of men).
Before getting into a relationship in the office, it may be best to avoid two types of workers, advises CareerBuilder: Those who you report to and those who report to you. Despite this wisdom, 22 percent of workers have dated someone who was their boss at the time. Of those who have dated at work, 27 percent of women have dated someone who was their boss compared to just 16 percent of men. Not only that, 30 percent of these workers say they have dated someone who was at a higher level in the organization than they were. Thirty-five percent of female coworkers reported dating someone at a higher level in the company than them, compared to 25 percent of their male coworkers.
“Office romance is experiencing a dip and whether it’s impacted by the current environment around sexual harassment or by workers not wanting to admit the truth, the fact remains that office romance has been around forever and will continue to be,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. “To avoid negative consequences at work, it’s important to set ground rules within your relationship that help you stay professional in the office and keep your personal life private.”
Valentine’s Day Tips For Office Romance
If you’re interested in exploring a romantic relationship with a coworker, Haefner recommends these tips:
- Check the rules. Some employers have a policy that prohibits employees from dating one another. Be sure that you know your company’s policy before getting into any kind of relationship. If you don’t know the policy, check with human resources.
- Keep your personal life out of the office. Remember to keep your personal life out of your work life, and beware of social media. While 41 percent of workers today choose to keep their relationship a secret at work, posting on social media may make it much more difficult to keep from your coworkers.
- Don’t let your romance impact your relationship with your coworkers. If you don’t properly separate your romantic and work life, your romance may color people’s judgment with regard to promotions, projects, team building, and responsibilities.